Posted tagged ‘alabama crimson tide’

NCAA Football Picks ATS – Week 10

November 7, 2009

Navy at No. 22 Notre Dame (-12)—Navy brings their signature triple-option rushing attack to South Bend this week in a bid to upset the Irish for the second time in three years. The Midshipmen, currently the third-ranked rushing attack in the nation, are led by QB Ricky Dobbs who leads the nation with 16 touchdowns. The Irish have a QB standout of their own in Jimmy Clausen who is second in the nation in pass efficiency having thrown 18 TDs to only two INTs. Clausen may very well lead the Heisman race at this point of the season and will continue the campaign with a comfortable win over Navy. Notre Dame 34, Navy 17.

 

89740736KC077_Tennessee_v_A

Ingram hopes to roll the Tide and himself to the BCS title game

No. 9 LSU at No. 3 Alabama (-7 ½)—Undoubtedly the ‘Game of the Week’ in college football this weekend, the Tigers head to Tuscaloosa to try to pull off the upset over the Tide. LSU has won four straight at Alabama but their offense has had some well-chronicled struggles finding the end zone this season. ‘Bama RB Mark Ingram will continue pacing the rushing attack which is averaging 217 yards per contest. With two top 10 scoring defenses playing for keeps, this will be another low-scoring affair, I think LSU keeps it close but ‘Bama will prevail on their home turf. Alabama 20, LSU 13.

No. 8 Oregon at Stanford (+7)—Everything about this game screams “letdown” as Oregon goes to The Farm to take on Stanford who are undefeated at home in 2009. The Ducks were so impressive last week against USC that they have launched themselves into talks regarding the BCS title game if they get a little help from some teams losing ahead of them. Stanford QB Andrew Luck ranks first in the PAC-10 in passing efficiency and RB Toby Gerhart leads the conference in rushing but they will have their work cut out for them against Oregon’s defense which lets up only 17 points a game. Oregon’s eighth-ranked rushing attack will simply be tough for Stanford to handle. Oregon 38, Stanford 27.

No. 16 Ohio State at No. 11 Penn State (-4)—The stakes are high in this Big Ten matchup and Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor will visit Beaver Stadium, a place the western Pennsylvania native spurned last year to end a highly publicized recruiting battle. The Buckeyes still control their own destiny in the conference but have struggled to find an identity on offense this season even with the talented Pryor. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in offense and have the nation’s stingiest defense, yielding just 9.3 points per contest. Expect a hard-hitting, low scoring affair (even with some possible defensive scores) and Penn State to shut down Pryor when it counts. Penn State 16, Ohio State 10.

No. 6 TCU at San Diego State (+24 ½)—At this point, TCU is focused on winning one game at a time…but some style point wouldn’t hurt in their quest for a BCS bowl. The Horned Frogs have the nation’s top-ranked total defense (yardage) and will look to grind it out with their rushing offense that averages over 233 yards per game. San Diego State’s offense is almost exclusively an aerial attack which ranks in the top 20 in the FBS. There is not much debate as to who will win this game but can TCU provide another blowout to impress voters? I think they may be looking towards the big contest with Utah next week…TCU 35, San Diego State 14.

Florida State at Clemson (-9)—The ACC has become an impossibility in regards to predictions but this game holds major importance in the divisional race for Clemson who controls their own destiny. Seminoles’ QB Christian Ponder has become a leader of this team and a standout player in a tumultuous year for FSU; he is banged-up but ready to go against the Tigers in Death Valley. Clemson will be missing pass-rushing monster Da’Quan Bowers for this contest and their inconsistent offense will need to be in check against the ‘Noles who always have enough talent to beat anyone. Clemson is so bad in these games that everyone is picking the upset but I say they squeak one out. Clemson 30, FSU 28.

Connecticut at No. 5 Cincinnati (-17 ½)—The Cincinnati Bearcats will be showing off their squad in prime time when they host the UConn Huskies on Saturday night. UConn’s season has been heartbreaking both on and off the field but they have played extremely hard every step of the way. Cincinnati boasts a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense and will look to go 9-0 for the first time since 1951, a school record. The Bearcats will be just too much for most teams in the Big East this season and the buzz saw continues. Cincinnati 34, UConn 14.

No. 24 Oklahoma at Nebraska (+4)—This historic rivalry may not carry the weight it used to but the teams will be going at it just like the teams of the 60s and 70s used to in its heyday. The Sooners are back on track with QB Landry Jones filling in well for Sam Bradford and still leading an explosive offense. Nebraska has a top 10 defense led by DT Ndamukong Suh and will look to slow down the Sooners by pressuring the quarterback. I think Oklahoma has had some bumps in the road but is clearly the better team this season. Oklahoma 27, Nebraska 17.

No. 15 Houston at Tulsa (+1)—Houston QB Case Keenum takes his Heisman dark-horse aerial show on the road to Tulsa who is looking to avoid a four-game losing streak. The Cougars score more points than anyone in the country not named Texas and will likely continue the onslaught this Saturday. The Golden Hurricane has been inconsistent and will have a QB question with starter G.J. Kinne questionable with a concussion. This spread is the ultimate red flag since it should be a blowout but I am going against the home underdog this time. Houston 45, Tulsa 31.

Fresno State at Idaho (+8)—Idaho has put themselves in position at 7-2 to receive their first bowl bid since 1998 and will try to continue the good feelings this week against Fresno who looks to gain bowl eligibility this weekend. Both teams rank in the top 25 in yards and points on offense so expect a back-and-forth contest in Moscow. Idaho will have to avoid the trap of looking ahead to an even bigger game in Boise but the real question is whether or not they can slow down the nation’s leading rusher in RB Ryan Mathews. I expect a fairly close one like most Idaho games this season but Fresno State may be too much for the Vandals, just as Nevada was two weeks ago. Fresno State 40, Idaho 30.

Last Week: 8-2

Season: 40-31

Advertisements

College Football Picks ATS – Week 8

October 24, 2009

Here’s this week’s quick breakdowns of some marquee matchups:

Connecticut at No. 23 West Virginia (-7 ½)

The entire story of this game being and ends with the loss of UConn Huskies’ cornerback Jasper Howard, who was senselessly killed last Saturday evening following the team’s victory over Louisville; the Huskies have decided playing the game is the best way to honor him this week.

The Huskies bring an opportunistic defense into Morgantown, one that has forced at least two turnovers in six straight games. West Virginia is back in the Top 25 and will lean on RB Noel Devine in case QB Jarrett Brown is not recovered after last week’s helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked him out of the game. It’s hard not to root for UConn this week and they will keep it close no matter what.

UConn 27, West Virginia 24.

Boston College at Notre Dame (-8)

The “Holy War” rages on in what will be the last meeting in South Bend for the foreseeable future as the series ends after next season. BC attempts to turn their road woes around where they have managed little to no offense in two losses by a combined score of 73-21.

Notre Dame has lost six straight to the Eagles and will bring in a potent pass offense led by Jimmy Clausen who ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency. This game has seen some shocking results over the past 15 years but I think Clausen is too much for the Eagles’ pedestrian pass rush.

Notre Dame 30, BC 20.

Tennessee at No. 2 Alabama (-14 ½)

The Tide continues to roll right along and the “third Saturday in October” is temporarily the fourth when the Vols travel to Tuscaloosa. Tennessee will jump on the back of Montario Hardesty who ranks 12th in the FBS in rushing yards and try to control the clock against the No. 1 ranked Tide.

Alabama is purely old school in 2009, which is to say, running (ranked ninth in team rushing) and defense (top of the heap in points allowed). Bama’s sophomore Heisman candidate RB Mark Ingram should pace the day and keep Tennessee off the field.

Alabama 27, Tennessee 14.

Clemson at No. 10 Miami (FL) (-4 ½)

Heisman hopeful Jacory Harris leads the 'Canes against Clemson

Heisman hopeful Jacory Harris leads the 'Canes against Clemson

Both teams find themselves in the thick of their respective divisional races yet again in the parity-laden ACC. Clemson comes off a dominant five-sack performance in which their 11th-ranked defense blew out Wake Forest 38-3.

Miami returns to conference play after a month away and will need to protect breakout QB Jacory Harris who ranks in the top 10 in passing efficiency. Clemson’s best performances have been special but they have yet to face an offense quite as versatile as the Hurricanes.

Miami 30, Clemson 24.

No. 11 Oregon at Washington (+10)

Oregon’s season has had quite the turnaround since “The Punch” was landed on opening night as they have ripped off five straight wins and amazingly climbed back into the BCS picture. The Ducks’ defense ranks in the Top 25 nationally in both scoring and total yardage and will need to contain Washington QB Jake Locker.

Washington has lost the five in this series and will need to tighten up on defense (ninth-worst in the PAC-10) in order to have any shot at slowing down Oregon. QB Jeremiah Masoli will likely come back for the Ducks so I think they make it six in a row in a closer-than-expected win.

Oregon 27, Washington 23.

No. 13 Penn State at Michigan (+4 ½)

The Nittany Lions have dominated their last three opponents by a combined score of 107-20 and will look to continue the hot streak in Ann Arbor, a place where they have not won since 1996. Michigan’s high-scoring offense ranks 10th in the nation and creates a challenging matchup for Penn State’s top-ranked scoring defense.

I think last week’s near off-week for Michigan against Delaware State came at a crucial time in the season and I like the upset here with the home underdog and a healthy Tate Forcier back in the mix.

Michigan 24, Penn State 20.

Oklahoma at No. 25 Kansas (+8)

Oklahoma looks to bounce back from the loss in the Red River Rivalry and will do so without QB Sam Bradford, who may be lost for the season. Kansas has lost five straight to the Sooners but enters this contest boasting the second-ranked offense in the FBS with over 503 yards per game. Oklahoma is a surprisingly big favorite and I think they get the win, but they will need to earn it in a close one in Lawrence.

Oklahoma 31, Kansas 27.

No. 6 Iowa at Michigan State (-1)

This game looms larger than it may first appear on paper as the winner of this game will control their own destiny in capturing the Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes are vying to go 8-0 for the first time in school history and have battled close calls all year long, pulling another one off last week at Wisconsin.

The Spartans have battled back and have not lost to Iowa in East Lansing since 1995. Iowa has impressed me all year with their ability to pull out these close games but I do not expect them to run the table and I think it ends this week.

Michigan State 23, Iowa 20.

No. 8 TCU at No. 16 Brigham Young (+2 ½)

The Mountain West Conference does not often get a showcase as big as this one on Saturday evening in Provo. The Horned Frogs from TCU look to run their unbeaten streak to nine games and are led by a stifling defense that ranks in the top 10 in every category.

BYU defends their home turf well as evidenced by their 13-game conference winning streak in Provo. They will also be looking for payback after last year’s 32-7 trouncing knocked them out of their top 10 status at the time. This game will be a dogfight, but I think TCU’s defense gives them the edge even in Provo.

TCU 20, BYU 16.

No. 3 Texas at Missouri (+13)

I would say that Texas is primed for a big letdown but they didn’t play well at all in the win over Oklahoma. The Longhorns likely are in control of their own destiny to reach the BCS title game if they win out and they currently outscore everyone in the country at 42 points a game.

Mizzou will have their work cut out for them as QB Blaine Gabbert has struggled in their two losses and they won’t be running the ball against the nation’s toughest rushing defense in Texas. Beware the late cover but the game in general should never be in doubt.

Texas 34, Mizzou 20.

Last Week: 7-3

Season: 28-23

Mike Blewitt’s NCAA Football Picks – Week Seven

October 15, 2009

College football rolls right along and the big match-ups continue (hello, South Bend) in an effort to get to January’s BCS Championship game with as little controversy as possible…not likely…

No. 8 Cincinnati at No. 21 South Florida (+2 ½)—This game is about as high profile as a game can get for the Big East Conference, a national TV contest with two undefeated, ranked teams vying for first place and increased recognition. Cincinnati boasts the nation’s third-ranked scoring offense led by Heisman dark horse Tony Pike. South Florida is led by dual-threat QB BJ Daniels and a stout defense that allows less than 10 points per game. In a game that will go a long way to legitimizing both programs, I give the edge to the Bearcats. Cincinnati 20, South Florida 17.

No. 20 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas (-3 ½ – game is in Dallas)—It says a lot about the Longhorns that they lead the nation in scoring offense (47.20 points per game) and many pundits are left unimpressed mainly due to the caliber of their opponents to this point. Oklahoma has Sam Bradford back in the mix and ready to take on the fourth stingiest defense in FBS. Despite OU’s rough start, this game will ultimately decide the Big 12 title as well as the BCS Championship game. I think the ‘Horns are still salty about last year’s decision to send OU to the Big 12 title game. Texas 38, Oklahoma 27.

No. 11 Iowa at Wisconsin (+2 ½)—Amazingly, Iowa will be looking for its 11th straight win when they travel to Madison this weekend, its longest winning streak in 86 years. Their opportunistic defense is second in the FBS in takeaways with 19, which has been a huge factor in three if their wins coming by three or fewer points. Wisconsin looks to bounce back after a loss at Ohio State where they failed to secure the ball leading to two defensive TDs for the Buckeyes, something they can’t afford to do this weekend. I felt an upset brewing with all of Iowa’s close calls and a tough road game, but the Badgers’ turnover issues scared me away from it. Iowa 24, Wisconsin 20.

Arkansas at No. 1 Florida (-25)—The statistics would lead you believe that we may see a track meet this Saturday in Gainesville, with two of the top 11 scoring offenses in the nation matching up. Arkansas has gotten their season back on track after the upset win versus Auburn last week and will look to knock off another top-ranked team which they did to LSU in November 2007. Florida expended every ounce of energy they had in shutting down LSU in Baton Rouge last weekend and may have a bit of a letdown against the Razorbacks at home. Fortunately for the Gators, even their letdowns can be impressive. Florida 34, Arkansas 17.

Can he provide a magical moment for the Notre Dame faithful?

Can he provide a magical moment for the Notre Dame faithful?

No. 6 USC at No. 25 Notre Dame (+10)—The recent slate of games between these two teams has been anything but competitive, with USC in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. The Trojans’ sixth-ranked defense goes to South Bend having allowed just 256 yards and three points TOTAL in the last two meetings with the Irish. Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen has been brilliant through five hard-fought games for the Irish and has actually eeked into the Heisman picture. USC Freshman QB Matt Barkley may find this even tougher than Columbus and if ever there was a time for a signature win for a player, coach, and a school – this is it. No guts, no glory…Notre Dame 21, USC 20.


Memphis at Southern Mississippi (-14)—Southern Miss is in a tailspin having lost three straight putting them right in the middle of the C-USA race. RB Damion Fletcher is on pace for his fourth 1,000-yard season and will look to dominate this Saturday against Memphis. The Tigers caught UTEP sleeping after an upset of their own but are 1-4 against FBS schools on the season and have struggled offensively throughout. Southern Miss 34, Memphis 13.

No. 4 Virginia Tech at No. 19 Georgia Tech (+3)—In a conference that has become nearly impossible to predict, we have a pivotal game in the race for the ACC Coastal division crown. Virginia Tech is on a hot streak, having won five straight including a couple of blowouts over alleged peers Miami and Boston College. Georgia Tech’s No. 1 ACC offense will pave quite the road to the conference title game with an upset in Atlanta this weekend. Frankly, there have not been too many teams as good and balanced in the ACC in recent memory as the Hokies are in 2009. Virginia Tech 31, Georgia Tech 23.

No. 22 South Carolina at No. 2 Alabama (-17)—Alabama is on a mission right now to avenge last year’s loss in the SEC Championship game to Florida and South Carolina is just another team in their way. The second-ranked tide has the nation’s second-ranked defense and will look to shut down the Gamecocks on Saturday night. South Carolina has but one close defeat at the hands of Georgia and brings the 15th-ranked defense into Tuscaloosa. The bad news for South Carolina is that Alabama is averaging over 220 yards per contest on the ground, not the strong suit of their defense, which means the Tide continues to roll. Alabama 27, South Carolina 17.

Missouri at No. 16 Oklahoma State (-7)—Everything seemed to be going according to plan this season for Missouri until the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Nebraska – turnovers led to touchdowns which led to a loss. The Tigers are led by the aerial attack of QB Blaine Gabbert who will look to put them back in the rankings with an upset in Stillwater. The ENTIRE story for the Cowboys is the suspension of All-American WR Dez Bryant who will likely be out for this game as well. The OSU offense is still explosive (ninth in the nation in points scored) and will need to stay focused in order to fend off a feisty Missouri team. The distraction will be there but the ‘Boys are simply the better team. Oklahoma State 37, Missouri 27.

Washington at Arizona State (-6 ½)—Washington is having the most up-and-down of seasons but everyone associated with the program will take it after last season’s winless debacle. While head coach Steve Sarkisian is working aout the kinks on offense, it’s the 90th-ranked defense that needs some stops to produce more consistent wins. Arizona State has managed to solidify its defense but the next four games after this one (Stanford, Cal, USC, Oregon) mean they need to earn their wins immediately to even think about bowl season. Washington 24, Arizona State 23.

Last Week: 4-6

Season: 21-20

NCAA Football Picks ATS – Week 6

October 9, 2009

No. 21 Nebraska at No. 24 Missouri (+4) – Both teams have proven they can move the ball ranking in the Top 20 in the country in points scored and yards gained. Interesting back-story: Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert, who has yet to throw an interception in four games, originally committed to the Huskers before backing out and committing to the Tigers. This is a huge game in the battle for the Big 12 North; I like Mizzou as the home underdog playing in inclement weather. Missouri 24, Nebraska 20.

Boston College at No. 5 Virginia Tech (-13 ½)  – This will be the fifth meeting in the last three seasons as these two rivals have matched up in the regular season and the ACC Championship for two years running…and possibly a third this December. Boston College is the last team to win in Lane Stadium (October 2007) and is revitalized by the play of 25-year old freshman QB Dave Shinskie. Virginia Tech is fighting for more than just an ACC title this season as their No. 5 overall ranking suggests. BC will put up a good fight (and barely cover) but the Hokies are a bit too strong for them defensively and on special teams this time around. Virginia Tech 30, BC 17.

No. 17 Auburn at Arkansas (+2.5) – Auburn has raced off to a 5-0 start and go into this SEC battle ranked for the first time this season. Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has the Tigers in the Top 5 nationally in points scored and yardage. Arkansas has been airing it out with talented QB Ryan Mallett with mixed results and will try to avoid a three-game conference losing streak. Arkansas’ inability to stop their SEC foes has been their undoing so until they do, I can’t wager with them even as a home ‘dog. Auburn 35, Arkansas 27.

No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Mississippi (+4) – Many would argue that Alabama is the most impressive team in the country at this stage of the season, with dominant performances on both sides of the ball in each of their first five games. Ole Miss stumbled against South Carolina early and looked to fold under the pressure of being a Top 5 team for the first time in decades. Frankly, if they walked into this game undefeated it wouldn’t change my outlook – Bama takes care of business again in Oxford. Alabama 34, Ole Miss 14.

Connecticut at Pittsburgh (-6 ½) – Pitt’s offense has looked much improved this season with QB Bill Stull leading them to 37 points-per-game. UConn will try to grind it out on the ground in their Big East opener and try to win a smash mouth contest but can their defense hold up? This one may not be easy to watch but Pitt covers very close. Pittsburgh 30, UConn 23.

Wisconsin at No. 9 Ohio State (-16) – The under-the-radar Badgers are 14th in the country in rushing behind John Clay as they have sped off to a 5-0 start. The Buckeyes have not let up a 100-yard rusher since September of 2008 and will be looking to take command of the Big Ten Conference. I just don’t see that many points being scored in Columbus so take them and run. Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 16.

Stanford at Oregon State (Pick) – Stanford is making an argument for a ranking and will look to go 4-0 in the Pac-10 led by the 1-2 offensive punch of QB Andrew Luck and RB Toby Gerhart. However, Corvallis is never a soft landing spot for opponents (see USC 2008) and sophomore RB Jacquizz Rodgers already has nine touchdowns on the season. This truly is a coin flip but I think Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh secures another signature win. Stanford 24, Oregon State 23.

UTEP at Memphis (+2 ½) – UTEP managed 18 yards rushing two weeks ago against Texas only to come back and upset No. 12-ranked Houston by scoring 58 points and picking up 305 yards on the ground. Memphis has struggled mightily to score points but I like them as the home underdog playing a team who will have a huge letdown after a major upset. Memphis 23, UTEP 20.

No. 1 Florida at No. 4 LSU (+7 ½) – There have been some very big matchups early on this season (USC-Ohio St., Bama-Virginia Tech) but none takes on the ultimate meaning quite like this game. The winner of this game is in charge of the national championship race, period. While there is cause for concern with Tebow, there is no doubt he will be out there playing his heart out for the Gators. LSU has won 32 consecutive Saturday night games but has been far from impressive on offense during their 5-0 start.  The winner of this game has gone on to capture the last three BCS championships and this year will make it four for the Gators. Florida 33, LSU 20

Michigan at No. 12 Iowa (-8) – Iowa is 5-0 for the first time since 1995 and has won nine straight dating back to last season. Michigan suffered an OT heartbreaker to in-state rival Michigan State last week and will look for redemption in another huge Big Ten matchup. Michigan may be using a freshman QB in Tate Forcier but they look incredibly dynamic at times while Iowa has been inconsistent enough to keep the doubters filled with ammo. Michigan 33, Iowa 30.

Last Week: 8-2

Season: 17-14